Multidisciplinary symposium underscores University of Indianapolis collaboration with Community Health Network

20190508_Community_Health_Symposium_55052The Fourth Annual Multidisciplinary Scholarly Activity Symposium, a collaborative effort between Community Health Network (CHNw) and the University of Indianapolis (UIndy), took place in Schwitzer Student Center on Wednesday, May 8. The annual symposium, an extension of the partnership between the two organizations, seeks to share information on healthcare research and trends.

“This year was the biggest symposium we’ve had to date,” said Gurinder Hohl, director of the UIndy-CHNw partnership. “In addition to 29 oral presentations, we had 62 poster presentations whose topics ranged from ‘The Poor Man’s Methadone’ to the effect of social media on body dysmorphic disorder.”

The symposium, which was attended by more than 300 people, is designed to encourage learning and discussion between and among participants from both CNHw and UIndy.

Dr. Rachel Shockley is the director of the Community Hospital South Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency program. She and several osteopathic residents gave an oral presentation on the impact of multidisciplinary teams in quality improvement efforts.

“The value for us in participating in this symposium is to see what others across the Community Health system and at UIndy are working in,” Shockley said. “We can implement ideas we learn that we think might work in our practice and others can learn from our experience.”

Brian Lauer, an osteopathic resident who presented with Shockley, said he thinks the symposium will help position him for the future.

“This experience has given me a framework for research, which is helpful as I prepare for my fellowship training,” Lauer said.

UIndy faculty, staff, and students also presented at the symposium. The interaction between people from UIndy and CHNw can act as a springboard for future collaboration. Kayleigh Adrian, project director at the UIndy Center for Aging & Community, received an invitation to present her research on expressive arts in long term care at an upcoming CHNw conference in the fall.

In addition to the oral and poster presentations, attendees listened to keynote speaker Dr. Tim Lineberry, chief medical officer for Aurora Health Care Medical Group, discuss how medical education, psychological safety and high functioning teams can work together to advance the practice of medicine.

 

Community Health Network selected as sports medicine healthcare provider for UIndy Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis announced today the selection of Community Health Network as the provider of sports medicine healthcare for the University’s athletics program, expanding the current partnership between the two entities while creating a unique model for healthcare, education and athletic training in higher education. The partnership also expands opportunities for research, education and access to healthcare for UIndy employees and students.

One of the largest providers of sports medicine healthcare in central Indiana, Community Health Network has developed a standout reputation with professional teams such as the Indy Eleven and Indy Fuel. Community will provide nearly 700 student athletes with the same expertise and quality in sports medicine and athletic training.

“When we looked to a provider that could be an innovative and effective partner and best serve one of the strongest athletic programs in Division II, Community’s expertise and record stood out. With Community’s reputation for excellence in healthcare, integration of ground-breaking technology and medical specialties such as sports medicine, we both saw the opportunity to a create a model in higher education to benefit the entire UIndy community,” said Robert L. Manuel, University of Indianapolis president.

Community_Athletic_Training_Press_Conf_02992

“We are excited to deepen our current relationship with UIndy through the addition of sports medicine services,” said Nichole Wilson, vice president of retail services for Community Health Network. “The ability to leverage our organizations’ collective strengths to innovate how future health care providers are trained and how we deliver care is what makes this a great partnership. Sports medicine is another avenue by which we can do just that.”

The unique partnership expands access to athletic trainers, diagnostic and treatment services including physical and occupational therapy, orthopedics, women’s health and concussion rehabilitation. With the focus on urgent and emergent medical management, the partnership will provide faculty and students with additional teaching, research and educational opportunities for healthcare majors, including collaborative networking with Community professionals.

“The UIndy Sports Medicine Program provides another outstanding opportunity for Community Health Network to expand on our already unique relationship with the University of Indianapolis,” said Dr. David Kiley, President of Community Health Network’s South region. “This program enables Community Health Network to further our Mission, Vision and Values in the community by providing exceptional Sports Medicine care and experiences to an extraordinary group of student athletes while also collaborating with the University of Indianapolis in providing exceptional healthcare-related learning experiences for their impressive student body. We feel this collaborative relationship will strengthen the learning experiences for the UIndy students and that these remarkable individuals will go on to be deeply committed to enhancing the health and well-being for those in the communities in which they later serve.”

The sports medicine healthcare agreement with Community Health Network is the latest stage in the evolution of a growing partnership, which includes the Nursing Academy, an academic partnership between Community and the University of Indianapolis that offers an accelerated path for students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Additionally, the Health Pavilion hosts an annual Multidisciplinary Symposium that brings together hundreds of Community health professionals and University of Indianapolis students and faculty to share research and presentations on the latest healthcare trends.

The goal shared by Community Health Network and the University is to keep our student athletes healthy, and when they do get injured, we support their desire to return to optimum health and competition as soon as possible,” said Sue Willey, University of Indianapolis vice president of intercollegiate athletics.

 

 

About Community Health Network

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Community Health Network has been deeply committed to the communities it serves since opening its first hospital, Community Hospital East, in 1956. Now with more than 16,000 caregivers and 200 sites of care, Community Health Network puts patients first while offering a full continuum of healthcare services, world-class innovations and a new focus on population health management. Exceptional care, simply delivered, is what sets Community Health Network apart and what makes it a leading not-for-profit healthcare destination in central Indiana. For more information about Community Health Network, please visit eCommunity.com.

 

About the University of Indianapolis

The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private, liberal arts university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. UIndy is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduates, 1,300 graduate students and 400 continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100 undergraduate degrees, more than 35 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. With strong programs in the health sciences, engineering, business and education, UIndy impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” UIndy.edu

About University of Indianapolis Athletics
The University of Indianapolis sponsors 23 varsity sports and supports nearly 700 student-athletes. The Greyhounds combined to win a school-record nine conference titles in 2017-18, with 12 consecutive top-20 finishes in the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, including six top 10s in the last seven years. The University has noted 73 Academic All-America® honorees since 2000, fifth most in Division II. The overall GPA for student athletes during the 2017-18 academic year was 3.2.

Multidisciplinary Symposium highlights collaboration with Community Health Network

IMG_2055More than 300 Community Health Network  health professionals and University of Indianapolis students and faculty attended the 3rd Annual Multidisciplinary Symposium to share research and presentations on the latest healthcare trends.

The symposium highlighted the partnership between the University and Community Health Network, and showcases research and scholarly efforts by University faculty and Community clinicians. This year’s agenda included more than 75 oral presentations and poster sessions.

Keynote speaker Sue Skochelak MD, MPH, the Vice President of Medical Education at the American Medical Association, shared insight regarding what’s on the horizon for medical education and the role of multidisciplinary competency-based learning in ensuring that students are supported through their learning journey and developing skills to meet the needs of the patients.

UIN_0036Kathy Zoppi, senior vice president and chief academics officer at Community, noted the growth of the symposium from 100 participants attending the first event three years ago to 300 attendees in 2018.

“As part of the partnership, we want to stimulate cross-institution collaborative projects,” Zoppi explained. The event serves an important role in providing a space for Community Health Network’s research and education programs to exhibit peer-reviewed scholarly activity for accreditation.

“When we first called UIndy three years ago in search of a good space to have this event, there was a gracious and rapid response from [Associate Provost of Research, Graduate Programs and Academic Partnerships] Ellen Miller of help, space and staff for our need.  It was unparalleled by other places and helped us get launched,” Zoppi added.

IMG_6735Participants from Community Health Network included physicians, pharmacists, nurses, educators, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. University of Indianapolis research teams also participated, with some teams collaborating across organizations. Researchers not only get a chance to discuss the results of their studies, but also how to grow the partnership between the two organizations.

“I was so impressed by this event and the collaborative, inspiring scholarly work that is happening across both UIndy and Community Health Network. The range of presentations and posters outlined real-life challenges, intriguing questions, problem-solving strategies and innovative solutions across education and practice settings, which then leads to further questions to be answered.  I am excited about the possibilities for the work UIndy and Community can do through working together,” said Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Many ideas have blossomed from discussions about how to advance the interprofessional and team education in both organizations.  

“Our existing groups of physicians, nurses, health professionals, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers can benefit from the engagement of bright students in clinical settings who ask great questions. We also can share improvements that make a big difference for patients and families – our ultimate goal, of course!” Zoppi said.

Partnership initiatives and news

FNP_Family_Nursing_Practitioners_34315Community Health Network Foundation has received a four-year $2,564,978 award from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transform the delivery of primary care through enhanced undergraduate nursing education and redefined nursing practice in the primary care setting. The grant is effective July 1, 2018, and allows Community Health Network to expand an educational partnership with the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing. Learn more.

The Nursing Academy is a unique academic partnership between Community Health Network and the University of Indianapolis that offers an accelerated path for students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It was established to support the unprecedented demands on today’s nursing workforce. Together, the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network are able to provide a higher standard of care to a complex and growing patient population by preparing nursing students to practice in the evolving landscape of healthcare.

Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact newsdesk@uindy.edu with your campus news.

Research events highlight UIndy-Community Health Network partnership

The University of Indianapolis held the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day in May to showcase research conducted by students and faculty in the health sciences disciplines. Held in tandem with the Community Health Network Research Symposium on campus, the events highlighted the growing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network.

UIndy students show research posters in the atrium of the Health Pavilion as part of the first annual Health Pavilion Scholarship Day hosted by the Health Science Colleges on Friday, May 19, 2017. The event was followed by the Second Annual Multidisciplinary Scholarly Activity Symposium held by Community Health Network with UIndy partnership support. Chad Priest, RN, JD, Chief Executive Officer of he American Red Cross of Indiana Region, is the speaker delivering a keynote on "The Healthcare Professionals of the Future" in Schwitzer following the luncheon. (Photo: D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

More than 20 faculty and students showcased their research experiences  at the Scholarship Day event held in the morning, which was hosted by all of the disciplines within the Health Pavilion. In the afternoon, keynote speakers Chad Priest and Ileana Ponce-Gonzalez of Community Health Network addressed issues surrounding the health care professions at the Community Health Network Research Symposium.

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UIndy Center for Aging & Community celebrates 20 years of impact

When the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) was first launched as a university-based center of excellence 20 years ago in 2001, it did so with expectations that it would have a transformative effect on older adults in Indianapolis, the state, the region and beyond, as well as on the university. Twenty years later, those expectations have been fulfilled, and the Center is continuing to find new ways to positively impact lives. 

Impact on the university

“The idea was that the Centers (CAC & Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning) would provide a way for the university to reach outside of itself, not only in terms of being known and recognized, but also in terms of attracting grants and consulting projects to the university,” said Dr. Ellen W. Miller, CAC’s executive director, who has been a part of the Center since its inception.

UIndy Joy’s House

“When we started,” recalled Miller, “UIndy didn’t have the infrastructure for doing large-scale grant and contract work. There was no IRB (institutional review board), no grants office, no accounting experience or framework to manage this kind of work.”

Then-university President Jerry Israel said the Centers “were going to pull the university along” to move the institution to a place where receiving grant dollars and revenue from consulting contracts would be a normal part of university business.   

Read more: CELL-ebrating 20 years of excellence!

“CAC helped pull UIndy along,” Miller said. “Now we have many of the processes and policies in place, making it easier for everyone on campus to do the same kind of work. The university stepped up to make the necessary changes, with the Centers leading the way. That’s important because every grant or contract we bring in extends the university’s reputation and diversifies the university’s revenue streams.”

Impact on the community, state, and region

There have been plenty of contracts secured by CAC in the past 20 years, though that was not the initial focus of its work. When CAC was launched, an advisory group worked to narrow the Center’s focus to a few key issues, including meaningful work for older adults and aging in place. After several years of focusing on its own interest areas, CAC leadership realized that its strength came from the ability to partner with aging network organizations around their interest areas. What organizations needed was a University partner that could help accomplish real work as well as bring subject matter expertise. CAC flipped its business model to one that brought the expertise and capability of UIndy to organizations that work with or on behalf of older adults. The interprofessional team at CAC has become known for its ability to work collaboratively and is a sought after partner for solving real-world challenges faced by aging network organizations.  

CAC is a financially self-supporting unit, as well as generating revenue to support university functions.That revenue has come from contracts with state agencies such as the Indiana Department of Health, the Indiana Division of Aging, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services – Aging & Adult Services Division. In addition, CAC has also partnered with funders, nursing home corporations, and health care organizations to conduct needs assessments, develop and deliver training, manage complex projects, and design and implement program evaluation. CAC also partners with other universities when the expertise and capabilities of both organizations are necessary to achieve project goals. When possible, CAC brings in the expertise of UIndy faculty to work on its contracts and projects and has provided applied experience in aging for many graduate students. 

Indiana National Guard training
The CAC assisted with training for the Indiana National Guard who were deployed to nursing homes to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of the work of our team is done with the intent of improving quality of life for all people as they age,” Miller said. “We’ve made an impact in the areas of better health for nursing home residents, more efficient and effective spending on aging services by government agencies, and education and training of people who work with older adults. We even helped train the National Guard troops deployed to Indiana nursing homes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

CAC has also been deliberate about being a good partner to the rest of the university, providing service to the campus through efforts such as Memory Cafes, the Caregiver Resource Group, and presentations like Dementia Friends and the Virtual Dementia Tour. 

“Aging is a common thread that ties us all together,” Miller said. “We try to help others make sure that thread is brightly colored and vibrant.”

Anniversary Show

In recognition of its 20th anniversary, the Center for Aging & Community has partnered with the UIndy Theatre Department and the Fonseca Theatre to reprise performances of “Forever Sung: A Celebration of Age in Song,” an original work created for the Center’s 10th anniversary. The performances will take place at the Fonseca Theatre on November 13 and 14 and at the UIndy black box theatre on November 20 and 21. More details and tickets will be available this fall.

International students find network of support at UIndy

Hounds from around the worldInternational students at the University of Indianapolis faced significant hurdles when the COVID-19 pandemic halted global travel in 2020. As the world slowly adjusted to the new reality, students proved to be resilient and resourceful as they found ways to continue their education with help from faculty and staff.

Some 286 international students are enrolled at UIndy during the spring 2021 semester, with 201 on campus and 85 studying remotely. These students hail from a total of 64 countries, with China, Saudi Arabia, Canada and India as the most highly represented.

The Center for Global Engagement coordinates the University’s study abroad programs and connects international students with the resources they need to succeed. At the onset of the pandemic, staff at the Center for Global Engagement moved quickly to adapt their services to the online environment.  Mimi Chase offered a weekly online Open House, inviting international students to join in weekly to discuss concerns or just to stay connected with their fellow students.

Mamitiana "Jenny" Rakotoarisoa

Mamitiana “Jenny” Rakotoarisoa

Mamitiana “Jenny” Rakotoarisoa, a community and non-profit leadership major from Madagascar, explained how Kathy Hancher, the academic advisor for Adult Learning Programs, was of great support.

“When ICE announced that ‘international students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses,’ [Hancher] immediately reached out to me to help me arrange my class schedule so that I would have no problem staying in the U.S. She also encouraged me to go back home this summer and worked with me to ensure that my schedule allows me to do so without delaying my graduation. She really made me feel like I was not alone and that someone at UIndy cared about my situation,” Rakotaorisoa said.

Adam Fernandes ’22, a visual communication design major and a math and computer science minor, faced a similar situation in Fall 2020. He needed to enroll in an in-person class in order to comply with the now rescinded ICE policy.

“Rhonda Wolverton from the UIndy Art & Design Department was one professor who really

Adam Fernandes

Adam Fernandes

put in the effort to change her class from an online-only to a hybrid class so that I would be able to stay in the country. I am ever grateful to her,” Fernandes said.

Samreen Khondker, a Canadian doctoral student in clinical psychology, appreciates the support she received from her advisor.

“I have always been immensely supported by my graduate advisor, Dr. [Michael] Poulakis, and I continued to be supported by him during the pandemic. Anything from discussing living arrangements to program requirements, to just discussing my mental health in response to all the changes, he was there to talk it through,” Khondker said.

Samreen Khondker

Samreen Khondker

She also acknowledged the work of the Center for Global Engagement, which stayed “on top of getting international students like me all the information we needed, which was very helpful. Lastly, I had several friends and my clinical supervisors who provided support during the pandemic as well.”

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, students found many silver linings.

“After over a year here, I learned something very important about U.S. culture: one can always reach out and ask for help when faced with difficulties. I always keep that in mind,” said Rakotoarisoa.

While international students faced additional challenges during the pandemic, they also found ways to cope. John Phan, a computer science major and mathematics minor, kept in regular contact with his mother in Vietnam.

John Phan, second from right, with his family in Vietnam.

John Phan, second from right, with his family in Vietnam.

“When the pandemic hit and the lockdown was in effect, the only thing that worried me was my family and friends’ health. I was pretty worried at first, but Vietnam was one of the countries that had the least number of deaths caused by COVID, so I was relieved. Furthermore, I chatted with my mom every day so I would know something is wrong immediately if there is one day’s gone by without talking to her,” Phan said.

Rakotaorisoa stayed connected to family through social media and instant messenger.

“I always make sure to communicate with them once a day, even just for a few minutes,” she said. “The truth is, with or without this pandemic, being far away from my family is very difficult. But fortunately, with advanced technologies, we can find ways to stay close and stay involved in each other’s lives on a daily basis.” 

Students said it was challenging to make new connections because of pandemic restrictions on socializing. However, as the world emerges from the pandemic, they noted how they’ve changed for the better and are setting their sights on the future.

“After the lockdown was lifted, I talked to a lot more people and became more open to everyone I know. Before, there was no way I would start a conversation with anyone unless they started one first. Now, I will always be the first one to initiate,” Phan reflected.

“Now that I am a junior in my second semester, my focus has been shifting towards gaining an internship, graduation and plans after graduation. Knowing that I am sent all the way here to university in the U.S. to get my degree is what keeps me going. I am grateful for the opportunity,” Fernandes said.

International students infographic

Alli Nelson ’20 begins career with Indiana State Department of Health

WIN_20200917_13_45_23_ProIn the age of COVID-19, the UIndy Public Health program is committed to making a difference. UIndy graduates promote health and prevent disease within local and global communities, as well as reduce health inequities through conscientious application of evidence-based public health strategies including programming and policy development.

One of those graduates, Alli Nelson ’20, now works for the Indiana State Department of Health as a COVID-19 Health Educator Epidemiologist. Below is a Q&A about her experience in the Public Health Education and Promotion program at UIndy and what it has been like to start her career in the midst of a pandemic.

 

What was your year of graduation, major and any minors or concentrations?

 

I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health Education and Promotion from UIndy in August of 2020. I am part of UIndy’s 4+1 public health program, so I am currently finishing up my last year of my Master of Public Health program at UIndy and will graduate with my MPH in August of 2021. I was very lucky to be able to complete an extra accelerated program so I will graduate with my Bachelors and Masters in four years.

 

What was your experience in the public health program? How did it prepare you for your current career?

 

I cannot say enough good things about UIndy’s public health program. It prepares students so well to step out into the workforce either with an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. The program gives you plenty of opportunities to network with professionals in the field and build relationships that prove to be beneficial upon graduation.

 

Additionally, the public health program focuses heavily on hands on experience. You are actively working with the community to design health education and promotion programs/interventions, conduct evaluations, compose grant proposals, and so many other hands on activities. This is so beneficial for students as it gives them the experiences that prepare them and allow them to standout when they are looking for a career.

 

The program pushes you to grow as a professional and develop important skills such as team building, communication, networking, problem solving, critical thinking, cultural competency, and so many other skills. The program also connects you with professionals and organizations that could be your future employer. That was the case for me. Our program director sent out an email of job openings at the Indiana Department of Health that was sent to her by a former UIndy graduate and I interviewed for a position and landed a job.

 

Can you give us a little more information on your current role?

 

I am currently contracted by the Indiana Department of Health as a COVID-19 Health Educator Epidemiologist. Within this role, I am working on an infection prevention and control program that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is rolling out called Project Firstline.

 

The aim of Project Firstline is to provide basic infection prevention and control trainings to all frontline healthcare workers, so this could be nurses, physicians, environmental service workers, dialysis facility workers, outpatient facilities, etc. Basically, we want everyone to know basic infection prevention and control like the back of their hand.

 

To reach this goal, I and another health educator will be providing 10 regional Project Firstline trainings within the next two years. The trainings will be based on the needs of the regions that will be identified through a Learning Needs Assessment that will be distributed throughout the state. This will assess what infection prevention and control trainings frontline workers currently receive and what are the gaps in the training that need to be addressed.

 

On the logistical side of things, I work on providing the grant deliverables for the grant that is funding this project as well as developing distribution lists of all dialysis centers, local health departments, homeless shelters, outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, primary care centers, and others to use to disseminate the needs assessment and the trainings.

 

How’s your transition to the workforce been? Especially with regards to starting during the pandemic.

 

The transition has not been too difficult. UIndy’s MPH program was online prior to COVID-19, so I was used to being productive and working from home. My current job is also fully online, so it wasn’t too different of a transition.

 

I attend a lot of Microsoft Teams meetings which is helpful to answer my questions and collaborate on different projects. I would love to work in person with my supervisor and other health educator, but it is not essential at this moment and it is safer for us to work from home. I was very fortunate to find employment during the pandemic, which I know was not the case for many. I am very thankful for my public health education that has prepared me to step in a role where I can help when a strong public health workforce is needed now more than ever.

 

Did any faculty or staff mentor you when you were a UIndy student? If so, who are they and how did they help?

 

I feel like all of the public health faculty and staff have mentored me throughout my time at UIndy. When we were on campus, I was definitely the student that went to professors office hours very regularly. Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, Dr. Angelitta Britt-Spells, and Dr. Kara Cecil have played a very important and impactful role in my development as a public health professional.

 

I have sat down with all of them and received very valuable advice and talked through how to set myself up to be a successful/impactful public health professional. I never doubted that the public health faculty did not want the best for me and took time out of their busy schedules to meet with me and many other students. They are all great role models for all the public health students in the program.

 

I cannot say enough good things or thank them enough. I did not originally start as a public health major and I was originally on track to go into the Occupational Therapy program at UIndy, but they helped me discover my passion for public health and decide that I wanted to spend my life using my passions for the greater good of the public’s health.

 

What would you say to high school students who are considering UIndy?

 

I would definitely recommend UIndy to high school students. If you are wanting an institution that you know has your best interest in mind, UIndy is for you. If you want professors that care for you and success and are available to you, UIndy is for you. If you want to build community and have a close cohort to walk through college with, UIndy is for you. If you want to make a difference in your community during school and after graduation, UIndy is for you. If you want to gain professional experiences and skills that will set you apart upon graduation, UIndy is for you. If you want to take pride in your education, UIndy is for you.

 

Do you have any advice for UIndy graduates? 

 

My advice for UIndy graduates would be to have confidence in your skills and the education you received. You are capable and qualified for a position. I know being a graduate in 2020 can make it difficult to find a career due to the current circumstances, but this season will also build skills, character, and qualities that will be very attractive to employers. 2020 graduates are flexible, adaptable, determined, and will be valuable assets to a company. Have patience and trust that your hard work, dedication, and education will pay off.

 

University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community hosts Memory Cafe Drive-in Concerts

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community, in collaboration with the UIndy Department of Music, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, and Books & Brews-South Indy, will host a series of Memory Cafe Drive-In Concerts, beginning Tuesday, September 29.

An outreach of the Dementia Friends Indiana movement led locally by CICOA, Memory Cafes are welcoming gatherings for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their family members or caregivers. The concerts will take place outdoors at Books & Brews-South Indy (3808 Shelby St., Indianapolis, IN 46227) as listed below.

Tuesday, September 29
2:00-3:15 p.m.
UIndy Jazz Combo 1

Wednesday, October 14
2:00-3:15 p.m.
UIndy Jazz Ensemble

Tuesday, October 29
2:00-3:15 p.m.
UIndy Pep Band

The series will feature University of Indianapolis student musicians. Cars will be spaced for social distancing. Guests may stay in their vehicles or bring chairs to sit outside their vehicles. Bottled water and packaged cookies will be provided and bathrooms are available inside Books & Brews. 

Memory Cafe Drive-In Concerts are free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, visit www.dementiafriendsindiana.org/events/memory-cafe-drive-in-concert.  

For more information about attendance, contact Becky Fee at the UIndy Center for Aging & Community at feer@uindy.edu or 317-791-5930. 

 

About CICOA
CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions is the unbiased expert in Central Indiana connecting older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers with home- and community-based services that help them remain living at home in better health, with better care, at a lower cost. Through a network of agencies, providers and volunteers, CICOA offers personal home care, meals, senior transportation, home accessibility modifications, respite care, caregiver assistance and more. A non-profit since 1974, CICOA is Indiana’s largest Area Agency on Aging and serves Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby Counties. Learn more at cicoa.org.

Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act and talk about dementia. The Dementia Friends Indiana initiative—launched in Central Indiana in 2017 by CICOA and expanded statewide in 2019 in partnership with other Area Agencies on Agingseeks to educate people about dementia, reduce stigmas surrounding it, and implement practical changes that create more welcoming environments. Learn more at DementiaFriendsIndiana.org.

About the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community
The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) is one of Indiana’s leading centers for aging studies. CAC uses an interdisciplinary approach to develop partnerships between higher education, business organizations and the community. The Center prides itself on being a champion for advancing the new reality of older adults as corporate, community and family assets.

The University of Indianapolis offers outstanding online education in aging studies. In addition, CAC provides research and consultation services to civic, philanthropic, business and community organizations that are working to serve older adults. By working with organizations and individuals who work with the aging population, CAC seeks to improve the quality of life for older adults across Indiana and beyond. Learn more at uindy.edu/cac.

Community Gardens work continues this fall

Fresh produce from the University of Indianapolis community gardens

Fresh produce from the University of Indianapolis community gardens

This summer UIndy students worked hard to nurture the community garden, as it played a critical role in helping the surrounding neighborhoods stay food-secure during the pandemic. Bronwyn Getts ‘23 (public health education & promotion) and Gavin Craig ‘20 (music) handled daily tasks like watering, weeding and pest control.

“The most fulfilling part of the garden is knowing that the seeds we put into the ground have grown into nutritious foods that feed members of the community in need,” Getts said. “This year we distributed over 500 pounds of produce to the Light of the World Church and the Villa Baptist Church,  both of which had community food programs.” 

The community gardens were launched in 2017 with the goal of bringing access to fresh produce to the surrounding neighborhood. The project is part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network to provide health- and wellness-related opportunities to the Indianapolis southside. SoIndy has played an important role in the partnership, along with Community Hospital South and Purdue Extension.

Interdisciplinary collaborations are a key part of the project’s success. Last August, UIndy Social Practice Art students activated the gardens for a class project. During the past two years, garden interns have represented majors from across campus, including public health, environmental science, psychology and music. Gurinder Hohl, University of Indianapolis and Community Health Network partnership director, and Kevin McKelvey, professor of English and director of the Social Practice Art Program, are advisors for the community gardens.

McKelvey is proud of the garden’s progress. “We’ve been working the last year or two to improve the soil health and add infrastructure like drip-line irrigation, and now we’re seeing the results of that,” he said. “What were originally plans and proposals are now a reality with over 200 pounds of fresh produce each week that we deliver to Villa Baptist Church Food Pantry in the Bean Creek neighborhood. That weekly total includes almost 140 pounds of tomatoes, 40 pounds of cucumbers, and over 10 pounds each of onions and green beans, as well as radishes, beets, and peppers.”

McKelvey views the Community Garden as a learning lab, just like you’ll find all across campus. “The student interns and volunteers can use the information that they’re learning well into the future.”

The garden will continue to be worked this fall until the first frost, usually sometime in October, with harvests going to the food pantry at Villa Baptist Church, working in conjunction with associate professor of nursing Toni Morris’s Promoting Healthy Communities course.

“Many people started gardening during the pandemic, and this only underscores the need for fresh, local produce available to anyone,” McKelvey said. “We’ll continue with this work even when everything returns to normal.” 

“Gardens like ours are important because they allow the university’s students to work within their community and see how they can make an impact for those who need a little assistance sometimes,” Getts said. “It builds compassion and a sense of pride in the labor we do all summer while benefiting those in need.” 

“This garden has genuinely changed the way I see the world, my community, and myself.” 

 

Residence Life launches fourth living-learning community

“I have gained some wonderful friends who share the same academic interests as me. I have also been able to academically challenge myself.” 

That’s the idea behind four Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) at the University of Indianapolis. 

Umoja LLCThe newest LLC, Umoja Scholars, was named after the Swahili word for “unity” and is designed for first-year students who identify as Black, African-American, or within the African diaspora.

Residence Director Rishawnda Archie co-created the Umoja LLC and will teach the new student experience during the 2020-21 academic year. She also advises the Project Regalia student organization. 

Rishawnda Archie, Residence Hall Director

Residence Director Rishawnda Archie

Archie was looking for ways to retain students of color and help students feel like they belong. She conducted focus groups with UIndy students to make sure the plans for the LLC were tailored to address specific needs. Launching in Fall 2020, the Umoja LLC is full with a waitlist for women, with spaces still available for men. 

“I’m excited to help Umoja Scholars learn more about their culture, have dialogues about their experiences, and connect to mentors and allies on and off-campus,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing what the resident assistants’ program and what activities they’re coming up with for students.” 

Terrence Harewood working with students in classroom

Faculty Sponsor Terrence Harewood

As the faculty sponsor for Umoja, Terrence Harewood, associate professor of multicultural education, will lead activities in the Indianapolis community, such as visiting the Madam C. J. Walker Building, Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Park and Crispus Attucks High School. 

“My goal is to support Umoja scholars in successfully navigating their transition to and through college through a focus on healthy racial identity development,” Harewood said. “I want to help the scholars recognize and utilize the assets they bring with them from their families and communities to foster productive social and academic outcomes.”

Resident Director Vanesha Blackburn will oversee the Umoja LLC housed in Crowe Hall

“The students’ experience in the residence hall will make a profound difference in their collegiate journey. I am excited to work with each resident to create an exciting, fun, comfortable, and familiar space for them,” she said.  “I want this to be their home away from home, a place where they can engage their peers, discover their racial identities, and explore unknown avenues to aid their college experience,” she said. 

Three additional LLCs at UIndy are tailored for students in the Ron and Laura Strain Honors College, the R.B. Annis School of Engineering, and the School of Nursing. Each community has a designated area in the residence halls and students share at least one common course per semester. 

Retention of first-year students is a primary focus for each LLC. Over 90 percent of LLC students from the 2019-20 academic year plan to return to campus in Fall 2020.

Kyle Johnson, Assistant Director of Residence Life

Kyle Johnson, Assistant Director of Residence Life

Assistant Director of Residence Life Kyle Johnson oversees the LLC programs at UIndy. While 2020 has presented unexpected challenges, Johnson says the entire Student Affairs team is “doing everything we can to provide the best experience possible for students.” That includes a summer engagement plan with virtual check-ins for incoming students, faculty sponsors, and August kick-off events that provide opportunities to engage while observing safety measures related to COVID-19. 

The benefits of being in an LLC include early move-in, off-campus activities, like a walking history tour of Garfield Park, a dedicated staff of students, customized wraparound services, like self-care courses for nursing majors, networking opportunities, and special events like Pizza with the Prez, a leadership workshop, a community service event, and an end-of-the-year celebration. 

There are no additional costs associated with being in an LLC—just additional benefits. Click to learn more about LLCs at UIndy

Here’s what some Greyhounds have to say about their LLC experience:

  • “I was in class with the people who lived on my floor, so I was able to ask them questions before I went to my professor and typically someone was able to help me! I also established connections with faculty.”
  • “I learned how to create new and meaningful relationships with my peers.”
  • “I gained a strong group of friends that I can work with throughout my college time. Also, I increased my ability to retain information by helping others in the LLC.”
  • “I found a brand new community and family that I’ll never forget!” 

LLCs in the United States have historically been built around privilege, but Johnson has other plans in mind. 

“As we move forward, we’re interested and committed to adding more communities for underrepresented populations.

Learn more about Living-Learning Communities at UIndy. 

*If you’re a UIndy faculty or staff member who is interested in proposing an LLC, please contact Kyle Johnson at kyjohnson@uindy.edu. While the formal process begins during the Fall semester, we are happy to begin the conversation now. 

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